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WVU To Allow Remote Work In Back-To-Campus Plan

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Jesse Wright
/
WVPB

Universities across West Virginia have released updated COVID-19 plans detailing how and if employees are expected to return to campus for the fall semester.

West Virginia University on Tuesday was the first institution in the state to publicly allow employees who can work remotely to continue to do so through the fall semester. This comes four days after West Virginia reached its highest daily confirmed case count, at 177, since the pandemic began.

According to the news release, WVU employees will work either entirely remotely, on-campus or a mix of both. Those returning to campus will coordinate with their departments to alternate workdays and stagger arrival and departure times. Additionally, employees working on campus will have to wear a face mask, as well as receive a COVID-19 test.

Marshall, Fairmont State and Concord universities will require employees to work on campus for the fall semester, other than those with medical conditions. All three institutions will enforce the use of face masks but will not require COVID-19 testing of all employees. 

Ginny Painter, Marshall University senior vice president for communications and marketing, said the school is following guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which does not recommend mass testing for returning students, faculty and staff. According to the CDC, the effectiveness of mass testing has not been studied, and its unknown if it reduces person-to-person transmission.

Marshall’s classes will be held at 50 percent seating capacity and Concord has said desks and lecterns will either be six feet apart or separated by Plexiglas. According to Fairmont State’s plan, class sizes and seating capacity will not be reduced, except on a case-by-case basis.

All the universities have said their back-to-campus plans are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic in the coming weeks. As of July 14, West Virginia had the third-highest rate of coronavirus transmission, behind Alaska and Montana, respectively.

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